Working Carers constitute approximately 12% of the Australian workforce, and as such make a significant contribution to the Australian workforce (Carers Australia). This suggests that at least 1 in 8 of our Sydney Local Health District (District) staff members are likely to be caring for someone at home or elsewhere, outside their working hours.
Balancing the role of working and caring can present carers with significant challenges. As a society it is our obligation to support working carers. There is legislation to ensure that carers are supported in the workplace, this includes flexible work practices for which all carers have the right to apply.
Read one staff carer’s story about how her manager supports her to balance carer responsibilities with her work at the District.
Guidelines and services available to staff carers
NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010
The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 states that all NSW Health departments and agencies, including Sydney Local Health District, must support employees who have caring responsibilities. The District references the NSW Health publication Recognition and Support for Carers: Key Directions 2018-2020for information and guidance on how to recognise and support carers.
NSW Carer accreditation as a Carer Friendly Organisation
In April 2020, the District received ‘Carer Friendly Organisation’ accreditation from Carers NSW - and became the first local health district in NSW to receive the accreditation.
District staff carer support and resources
The District has developed a range of services and resources to support District Staff Carers.
Flexible Work Practice arrangements
Flexible Work Practice (FWP) arrangements are a broad range of flexible work options including:
Talk to your manager about the types of flexible work arrangements available.
Leave entitlements for carers
Staff carers get the same leave entitlements as other District employees. The District’s leave policy is guided by the NSW Health leave policy explained in the NSW Health publication Leave Matters for the NSW Health Service.
Some of these leave entitlements may help you meet your caring responsibilities outside work:
More information about leave entitlements for staff carers is available via the District Workforce Services team.
Staff carer support service
The District provides a confidential support service for all District staff carers who care for someone who needs support. The Staff Carer Support Service provides an opportunity to:
To find out more, contact Kim Brauer, Manager, Sydney Local Health District Staff Carer Program via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9767 5876.
Employee Assistance Program
The District’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential counselling service available to all District staff. They can help with work and personal difficulties, including the emotional challenges of caring.
Contact details for the EAP are available on the Employee Assistance Program website.